LEFT OUTSIDES – And Colours In Between (Demo)

The Left Outsides are a new band, and this is a demo of their songs that I was guided towards by NME. Hailed as the best demo received that week by a zillion miles, I was most taken by the fact that the band worked in the folk genre – something almost unheard of with new bands these days. Alison Cotton plays viola, recorder and melodica and Mark Nicholas plays guitar, bass and glockenspiel, while both sing. The demo starts with ‘Dog Leap Stairs’, a short vocal harmony piece showing that both singers have very good voices, and harmonise superbly. The first actual song is ‘Neon Rainbow’, and sure enough it is folk music – elegantly picked acoustic guitar, understated viola, and Alison’s excellent voice. Mark takes over vocal duties for ‘The Chameleon’, while ‘Fallen By The Wayside’ has the most haunting viola intro, which embeds itself in your mind after first hearing. ‘A Kingdom Of My Own’ features both singers, each complementing the other as they harmonise. ‘I Fear That I Have Lost My Way’ is another short instrumental track, with just guitar and Alison’s wordless vocal evoking the title perfectly. ‘Leaving The Frozen Butterflies Behind’ is the most traditional sounding folk song here, with Alison’s viola and Mark’s guitar giving it a haunting quality. All the songs are self-penned, except closer ‘Now It’s Over’, and as that song ends and you wish that it wasn’t over you get a hidden bonus in the shape of the lovely ‘Home To Stay’ and a reprise of ‘Dog Leap Stair’. Although this album was recorded on a four-track at their home, the production is first rate and it is hard to believe that they regard this as a demo – to me it sounds like a finished record in its own right. Hear for yourself on their website, where there are two free tracks ready for download and the CD itself is only £6 - and worth every penny. Look them up at